Huawei Mate X2 foldable phone goes supersized with the same big issue

Huawei has revealed its newest foldable phone, with the Huawei Mate X2 promising a bigger display in a sleeker form-factor, with all the eye-catching promise of the next-generation design. Gone is the old Mate X's outer display design, which wrapped around the exterior of the handset. In its place is an internally-folding 8-inch panel.

The change brings the Mate X2 more in line with foldable designs from Samsung, like the Galaxy Z Fold 2. However Huawei manages to make its phone sleeker and pack a larger internal panel than the 7.6-inch flexible AMOLED in Samsung's handset. The company is calling it Falcon Wing Design, with a steel and carbon fiber composite chassis used .

On the front, meanwhile, the Mate X2 gets a 6.45-inch OLED screen. Both panels support a 90Hz refresh rate: the exterior display has a 240Hz touch sampling rate and runs at 2700 x 1160 resolution, while the interior screen has a 180Hz touch sampling rate and runs at 2480 x 2200 resolution. The whole thing is tapered, measuring just 4.4 mm at its thinnest point when unfolded, or as little as 13.6 mm when closed, and weighs 295 grams.

Keeping things running is Huawei's own Kirin 9000 chipset, an octacore with a single Cortex-A77 3.13 GHz performance core, three Cortex-A77 2.54 GHz primary cores, and four Cortex-A55 2.05 GHz efficiency cores. They're paired with Huawei's Dual Big Core + Tiny Core NPUs, plus 8GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of storage.

For cameras, there's a choice of four on the rear, with Huawei continuing its Leica partnership. The main wide-angle is a 50-megapixel sensor with OIS and an f/1.9 lens, alongside a 16-megapixel ultra-wide with f/2.2 aperture. A 12-megapixel telephoto offers 3x optical zoom, OIS, and f/2.4 aperture, while an 8-megapixel telephoto delivers 10x optical zoom, OIS, and f/4.4.

Both phase and contrast focus are supported, and there's 4K video support plus 1080p @ 960fps ultra slow motion capture. All of Huawei's recent AI-powered modes and extras are onboard too, such as tracking shot, portrait mode, light painting, night mode, and others, and there's up to 100x digital zoom and 20x hybrid zoom. As for selfies, there's a 16-megapixel camera there which can shoot up to 2512 x 1080 video.

For power, there's a 4,500 mAh battery. It'll charge with a HUAWEI SuperCharge adapter, supporting up to 55W 11V/5A. Dual-SIM is standard, with one supporting 5G and the other topping out at 4G LTE. There's also WiFi 802.11ax and Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, plus a USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 port.

Of course, the big challenge is software. Huawei still finds itself locked out of the Google app ecosystem, so while the Mate X2 runs Android 10 and EMUI 11.0 you don't get the Google Play store nor apps like Gmail and YouTube. Instead there's the company's own app store and other software, along with features like Multi-Window for split-screen layouts, App Multiplier so that several iterations of the same app can be run simultaneously, and Active Floating Windows for a persistent hovering app above all the rest.

Sales of the Huawei Mate X2 kick off from February 25 in China, priced at RMB 17,999 ($2,640) for the 256GB version and RMB 18,999 ($2,780) for the 512GB model. Sadly, as you'd expect, there's no sign of a US launch planned.